"Life has ground to a halt" - family left devastated by loving father's shock suicide
A devastated Washington grandmother has urged anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts to seek help after her husband took his own life.
Forty-eight-year-old dad-of-three Vince Donoghue died on Friday, July 7, not far from the home in Titchfield Road, Glebe, Washington, he shared with wife Michele and sons Josh,23, and 13-year-old Nathan.
Michele says she knew her husband was unhappy at work but had no idea he had become so desperate.
HGV driver Vince was on nightshift and would normally not get home until between 5.30am and 5.45am in the morning. On the day he died, he had arranged with Josh to train in the morning in the gym the pair had set up in the garage.
"I got dressed and came downstairs quietly because I assumed he was still asleep,” said Josh. "Then I noticed the car was not there.”
Michele was worried immediately, but only because Vince was always so punctual and careful about letting them know if he had been held up.
"I was worried because I thought there had been an accident, something had happened at work or he had had a car accident on the way back. At this point, I did not even know if he had made it to his job at all.
"Then I thought perhaps he had quit his job but did not want to come home.”
An inquest at Sunderland Coroner’s Court heard Vince was found in his car in a small car park off Bone Mill Lane in Fatfield that evening.
Senior coroner Derek Winter recorded a conclusion of suicide.
Vince also leaves daughter Lauren ,30, and grandchildren Charlie and Chloe Burdis.
“He was just the last person in the world you would expect to do this,” said Michele.
She has been horrified by the number of people who have come forward with similar experiences: “The amount of people on Facebook who have said they know someone who has committed suicide is unbelievable,” she said.
Now the family is having to come to terms with what has happened: “We just feel like everything has ground to a halt,” said Josh,
Michelle has turned to Chester-le-Street-based If U Care Share, which helps families bereaved through suicide.
She is struggling to come to terms with the loss of a man who has been part of her life for more than 30 years: “We have been together since we were 16,” she said. “It was our 17th wedding anniversary on Saturday.”
She has one message to anyone who finds themselves contemplating the same course of action as Vince: “Just talk to somebody,” she said.
"It does not have to be someone you know. If you find you can’t talk to family, talk to The Samaritans, talk to If You Care Share, talk to anybody.
“Just let someone know.”